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Intel TS15A LGA1151 is twice the size of the retail LGA1150 cooler

by Mark Tyson on 17 August 2015, 12:06

Tags: Intel (NASDAQ:INTC)

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Intel's latest and greatest Core i7-6700K and Core i5-6600K unlocked multiplier Skylake processors for desktops are not bundled with a cooler. The firm managed to get away with not bundling any cooler as the K-designs are produced for enthusiasts who are very likely to have a preference for third party cooling solutions, whether they air or liquid based. With no other desktop Skylake processors launched yet, we haven't managed to see any Intel coolers in processor bundles.

A few days ago Akiba PC Hotline published details and pictures of the first genuine Intel cooler designed for the LGA1151 platform. The Intel Thermal Solution TS15A is the product in the spotlight, and it is pretty hefty. It looks like a typical Intel design, with a central pillar from which radiate a circular array of fins, but it is really tall. Akiba says that it is "more than twice" the size of the LGA1150 retail cooler. That is clearly illustrated in the picture below.

However the Intel TS15A may not be bundled with any upcoming Skylake processors, even the high end ones. I'd expect most retail Skylake processors for desktop PCs to come with a similarly compact cooler to the short LGA1150 example shown above.

According to Akiba PC Hotline the Intel TS15A was retailing in Akihabara district for ¥5162 (US$41.50, GBP£26.50, €37.50). That price puts it into direct competition with enthusiast favourite air cooling designs from the likes of Zalman, Arctic and Cooler Master.

There's a smattering of technical data revealed by the cooler's packaging. The TS15A uses 4-pin pulse width modulation (PWM) fan speed control and has passed shock/drop testing. Buyers receive a three year warranty.

Looking at the pictures we can see the copper bottom contact surface of the cooler (below) and radial aluminium fin array meant to dissipate the heat from the centre. The fan sitting atop of the heat-column looks to be about 90mm, potentially more noisy than competitor solutions which often sport 120mm fans. Unfortunately we don't know the range of fan rotational speeds offered by the Intel TS15A.

HEXUS Forums :: 16 Comments

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I don't think anyone is going to look at this and say “I won't take the better looking and (probably) better performing 212 Evo that costs less. I'll choose this one.”
I don't think anyone is going to look at this and say “I won't take the better looking and (probably) better performing 212 Evo that costs less. I'll choose this one.”
The only point I can give it personally is that the 212 Evo, unless you're experienced, isn't for the faint of heart. I watched over the various tutorials on youtube multiple times and followed the provided instructions and still had a little bit of a fiddle screwing it in.

Once you know what you're doing the 212 Evo is fine, but for ease of use pushpins still win I think.

I'm not entirely sure I agree with their statement about K buyers using custom coolers too, when I built my PC with a 4670k late last year, wherever I checked the K price was on par with the non-K. Therefore I bought the K for the slight future proofing since I decided I could buy a cooler later if I wanted to overclock (I ended up buying one just for dropping my temp when handbrake encoding just recently).

That said they can't really be expected to base their pricing off of what might happen to the prices months or years down the line, so perhaps it's fair enough. Also if they're selling the cooler separate instead of choosing to cheap out on it as “just enough” to keep bundling costs down, perhaps it will end up being a worthwhile cooler. It's a tough price point to crack though.
To be fair to Intel, the 1150 OEM cooler is unusually small. The OEM coolers before that were quite a bit more chunky.
Just stick an ice cube on it instead…
I've often stuck to stock Intel coolers in my boring basic builds because I've found them to be more than adequate, in fact I quite like how quiet the fan is in terms of it's noise signature.

Even the ‘tiny’ cooler that's seen in the photo above does really well on a recent i5 2500 gaming rig I put together.

If the fan on the giant version of the heatsink is as good as the current stock heatsink, I'll probably give it go.